News and Politics

The Best Intentions? Politicization in the Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela

October 20, 2016

Venezuelans refer to their country’s slums and the individual improvised constructions as ranchos (ranches).  These feats of engineering are ubiquitous throughout the country; they spill down the hills and mountains surrounding the capital city of Caracas, down to the port of La Guaira north of the city and south into the Tuy valleys, and dominate the periphery of even more intermediate cities like Maracay, Ciudad Bolívar, and San Cristóbal.  Some Venezuelans claim that the rancho that has overtaken the colonial town of Petare

Former Mexican Mayor Murdered

November 11, 2012

On November 12, 2012, former Mexican mayor Maria Santos Gorrostieta was abducted as she was driving her daughter to school. Her body was found a few days later and it is believed that she was tortured before she was killed. There is speculation that Gorrostieta was targeted for her frequent denunciations of drug cartels in the area where she served as governor, a small town in the western state of Michoacán.

Populism in the West: Alive and Kickin'

March 3, 2017

It has been a while since a strikingly populist candidate has been a major contender in a  presidential election in the United States. Many think of William Jennings Bryan, the three-time nominee of the democratic party at the end of the 1800s, as one of the only other strongly populist presidential candidates in American history (Ramone, 2010). President Trump’s campaign can fairly be described as populist through his rhetoric against the elites on Capitol Hill, his appeal to working class voters, and most importantly his outsider status as a non-politician.

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